I’m announcing the release of my new book, written with co-author Kate Motaung:

Influence: Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me). 

This book is especially written for speakers, writers, and ministry leaders. If you know someone who serves in one of those ways, would you consider sharing this post with them?

Influence Quiz

If you haven’t done so yet, I invite you to TAKE THE INFLUENCE QUIZ. This post is a follow up of the fourth question in the quiz:

As an influencer, I worry about the following:

  • What if I am rejected?
  • What if my audience criticizes or ignores me?
  • What if people think I’m full of myself?
  • What if I get caught up in success, rather than serving?
  • Other:

Fearful Entry

My very first blog post went live about ten years ago. The following morning, I sent out an email to every single person I knew with a digital inbox, inviting them to visit my new blog, called, “Tiny Paragraphs {Within the One True Story of God}”.

And after sending that email, I felt sick felt sick all day long. I wanted to lock the front door, pull the shades, and unplug the phone. I groaned in agony every time I would picture another friend or family member opening their email. I could just see their puzzled expression. I could just hear them saying to themselves, “Shannon? A blog? What does she think she has to offer that hasn’t already been said?”

Gradually my writing segued to speaking, and the same “sickness” returned. Whenever I got back from speaking at a MOPS group or a small women’s tea, I would spend the next 24 to 48 hours, moaning in agony. I would pull the shades, sit on the couch, eat junk food, watch movies, and torture myself by recounting all of the embarrassing and foolish mistakes I had made. I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to cry. I felt agitated and irritable.

The Source of the Sickness

So what caused my “sickness”? What was causing all of these miserable symptoms? Fear of what people might think.

As the curtains have opened to the digital universe we’ve all now chosen to live in, I think the fear of what people might think has only been magnified. Do you agree?

Here’s how the fear works itself into my thoughts about social media: If I fling open the millions of windows that Twitter and Facebook and Instagram provide, am I not just giving people more access to see and criticize and misjudge me? What if they disagree with or challenge what I’ve said? Or what if they ignore me completely? (That might actually be even worse.)

Friend, here’s what I have to remember, each time I face a new writing, speaking, or social media opportunity: God has not given me a spirit of fear (I Tim. 1:7). If fear is causing me to stay quiet or alter my message, then I am being motivated by something other than God’s Spirit. But what sort of spirit or attitude is God-given? The spirit of love. Love for other people. Love like Jesus had when he died on the cross. And the spirit of self-control. The kind of self-control that provides staying power, and keeps me from running from opportunities. The kind of self-control that prevents me from spending entire days on the couch with the shades pulled, eating junk food and watching TV.

If fear is causing me to stay quiet or alter my message, then I am being motivated by something other than God’s Spirit. #Christianinfluencebook Click To Tweet

If you’re “sick” with the fear of what people think, won’t you consider what God thinks? If he has given you a message to share with the world, don’t let fear hold you back. Step out onto the platform God has placed under your feet and shine!

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Continuing the Conversation

If you’d like to keep talking about this topic of platform-building as Christians, we hope you’ll consider our new book, Influence: Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me) either to read on your own or with your writers/ speakers / leadership group.

Check out correlating resources and podcast interviews here.

Receive this 4-part Influence Blog series here.

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